Monday, June 29, 2009


Florida was great and all, but having been back in the US for almost a month, I just couldn't stand it.
Well, actually, there was a rather sudden family event that drew Tovina and me up to Canada. Its nice to see family but we will deeply miss our cousin Ari.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Aunt Noreen!

One of the joys of visiting Florida is not only do we get to see people that I knew for 9 years, Aunt Noreen lives there too! T was not really in the mood for photos, but here are a couple shots that show us together.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Katherine and Tovina

Made it home but pretty darn tired. In place of words, here are some shots of Tovina and her new friend Katherine. (Katherine is just 2 months older)
Katherine is the only person I know who wanted to puch more than T wanted to swing. Amazing endurance!
And here are the 2 princesses all dressed up!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And back again

We're back in Atlanta and prepping to be in Ohio tomorrow. It was wonderful seeing family and friends but it really showed us that we need to get down to Melbourne more often. I guess once every 4 years is just not enough.

Monday, June 22, 2009


The first day in Florida we took Tovina to the ocean. The waves and sand were both overwhelming for her at first. To protect her from both, she started off on Daddy's shoulders.
Then progress was made and she enjoyed the little pool of water that was left over from the previous high tide. She also lucked out by having Laura there to hold her hand.
T has not quite made it to beach bunny status, but she did have some pretty good things to say about the experience and discovered that some splashing can be fun. (To put your mind at ease, 60 SPF sunblock was applied 30 minutes before her 50 minutes of sun exposure and no burns or even hint of tanning took place on the pale one.)
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Made it to Florida

We've made it to Florida! Its great being down here and we are really looking forward to seeing more people.

But earlier today we were still in Atlanta. Why? Because that's where Mari lives!

And Tovina loves Aunt Mari.
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Half way there

We made it to Mari's last night and are getting ready to move on to Florida. Very nice having a stop over point almost exactly half way.
Tovina remembered Mari which made aunt Mari pretty darn happy.
As well as visiting Mari, I also was able to visit my old Mazda Miata and even made a bagel run this morning with the top down... ahhhh. For a moment I even tried to work out how to take the 2-seater convertible rather than the mini-van for the rest of the trip. (In case you are wondering, the math did not in fact work out.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cooking (updated)

When we first started blogging from China we talked a lot about food and cooking. Then we had Tovina and the whole cooking thing became less prominent. Since moving back State side, we have been cooking more but we never seem to talk about it. To address this, here is what we ate tonight: Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup with garlic flat bread.
It was quite yummy and relatively straight forward.
We will definitely be making the bread again!

After T was done eating, the adults were still sitting around the table. To distract her from trying to get us to walk around with her, we asked her to go cook us eggs and soup at her play kitchen. She was happy to oblige though Sheila's eggs were hard boiled instead of fried. Guess T isn't ready to be a short order cook yet - maybe next week.

Oh, speaking of weeks, we're heading down to Florida tomorrow. If we haven't gotten a hold of you yet then drop us a note.

*6/18/2009 Added link to soup recipe. Sorry I forgot to include that.

Hot Socks

To put your minds at rest, let me assure you that Tovina had a great time at day care yesterday. In fact, she didn't even notice when Michael left (there was this really cool toy cell phone..), let alone when we came back for her (there was this fun ball that was great for kicking see..) The report was that she did fine, enjoyed herself, ate much of her food and drank a cup of milk (she won't do that at home), played with the other kids by the end of her day, and in general we have no fear of taking her tomorrow. This report was particularly encouraging because T was in a grouchy and whiny mood before she went into the office. We figured that if today went well, then pretty much any day ought to go well.

In other news, Tovina has developed an affinity for Frank's hot sauce which can likely be attributed to her father's influence. Today she asked for it by name and when we didn't understand what 'aw saws' meant, she tried to use sign language to help us out. We haven't learned the sign for hot sauce but she did her best by using 'socks'. Socks, sauce, whatever. (The sign we are referring to is placing the pointer finger of each hand next to each other and sliding them back and forth. You can see her do it at the end of the following video.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day care

Tovina is trying out part time daycare starting today. Here she is all ready to go. (The plastic fried eggs stayed home though the blue pacifier went with her.)
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tracing hands

Or at least that was how it started, with Zaida showing T how to trace her hand a couple months ago. Now she is all into it and coming up with new ideas all on her own. Here she is trying to get me to trace her head. (She succeeded of course.)

Here she wanted me to trace her ear. Much trickier than I first thought it would be.

That is all the posting for tonight 'cause I got to get to sleep so that I can be ready for an interview tomorrow. Wheee!
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More tricks

What else has Tovina been up to these days? In addition to the whole swimming thing, T has also gotten ready for baseball season.
Well, maybe not really. But she does look like she's ready, doesn't she?
In truth, her latest tricks are more verbal. In this video she counts up to 8 before deciding that watching herself on the camera is much more important. Some days she makes it up to the teens, but then everything starts sounding like 14 until she very excitedly exclaims Twenty!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Day lillies

Michael cut a one of the lovely day lillies that are growing aroudn the house and brought it in for Tovina.
At first, she was not sure what to make of it.
Then she got into it!

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Swim water!

While she is always excited to tell us how excited she is to 'swim water!' we have note been able to convince Tovina that swimming requires actually getting in the water. In Turkey there were a few pools that she was eventually willing to kick her feet in the water, but that was about as far as it went.
This weekend we checked out the pool at the Jewish Community Center.

The wading pool was able to lure her in and then we hit the big pool where she went in all the way to her neck! Still no head dunking but I have hope for the future. Unfortunately there are no action shots as we were a little bit busy but here are some shots of the bathing beauty relaxing after exhausting debut.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Baby animals

While sitting at my desk this morning, Fritz and Edgar (our 2 baby owls from a couple weeks ago) chose to visit just outside the window that I look out while sitting at my computer. They look bigger now and sometimes we can see them flying around with lunch in their talons.

We also have some baby deer that come by. They seemed to be about the size of large dogs just earlier this week though they are growing fast.

And the hundred or so tadpoles in the pond are thinking about growing some legs.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


While Tovina was a great little trooper for the whole Turkey trip, she managed to pick up thrush on the plane ride home. This is particularly odd since she was eating at least one HUGE serving of yogurt (usually with honey) every day we were in away and yogurt is suppose to be good for preventing thrush.

Not a big deal though. We have medicine and she even let us put it in her mouth without spitting it back at us which is nice since we will have to give it to her 4 times a day for at least a couple weeks.

Its good to be home.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Back home

We have an absolutely fantastic time in Turkey and are now back in Ohio. Michael has posted more photos from the trip with captions. If you haven't checked it out, I recommend his work.
In other news, we are still unpacking, doing laundry, getting readjusted to EST, and generally enjoying being home and eating s'mores.
Tovina is showing off her 3 syllable words (Tovina, banana, escalator) and is almost back on her regular sleep cycle. If we can just cut out the 4am wake up we'll be perfect.
I expect regular blogging to resume from here until the next trip.